As has become somewhat common in sessions this semester, the Student Association Senate spent the large majority of their Monday meeting debating changes to their own bylaws and official procedures.
Most of the meeting was devoted to discussing legislation proposed by SA President-Elect and current Senator Nick Gumas (CCAS-U) that would initiate various changes in Senate rules concerning the suspension and removal of inactive senators, and the appointing of their replacements. Arguing that the current replacement process was “terribly terribly long”, Gumas wanted to expedite the process so it did not take months to replace inactive senators.
Graduate senators, however, were concerned with many aspects of the legislation. Senator Will Rone (SEAS-G) had voiced concern with some aspects of the bill to Gumas prior to the meeting, but changes made before the session convinced Rone to support the legislation. Additional concerns by other graduate senators led to multiple amendments.
The length and content of the discussion clearly frustrated many senators. Senator Ryan Counihan (SoB-U) said that this issue was nothing new, and that conflict between graduate students and undergraduates happened on this issue every year.
“This has been a waste of an hour, quite frankly,” Counihan later said.
Senator Paul Maeser (ESIA-G) felt the entire issue was a waste of time, arguing that senate sessions should instead be spent on issues students care about.
Perhaps the comment that best exemplified the frustration in the room came from Gumas.
“I would ask everyone to check their rhetoric… we are talking about student government,” Gumas said in response to some heated comments directed towards him.
Then, the legislation failed to gain the two-thirds support it needed to pass.
The senate approved three co-sponsorships during the session, including $6000 for Phi Alpha Delta to bring Francis Lee Bailey Jr. to speak on campus. Bailey Jr. is an attorney known for his numerous high profile clients, including O.J. Simpson.
The 2013-2014 Senate will meet the last three Mondays in April to conclude its term.